It was a nail-biting affair at EPC Solar Park in Canberra, as some key performances with the bat saw Tasmania find a way across the line with four wickets in hand. Skipper Megan Schutt was brilliant as always for the Scorpions, setting the tone for her side with a trio of wickets and a tiny economy rate, finishing with 2/24 from ten overs. However, a fine showing from Naomi Stalenberg with the willow proved the difference late, with her 47 runs enough to guide the Tigers home. 

Schutt won the toss and chose to bat first in the nation’s capital, and it looked the correct call as Tahlia McGrath and Bridget Patterson settled in at the top of the order. The two put on 47 without fuss before McGrath feathered one through to Smith behind the stumps, who took a great catch to see the back of the right-hander. Substantial partnerships were hard to come by from there, as wickets fell consistently throughout the innings.

Patterson was looking solid, despite an early chance being put to grass by Tasmania, but a quick single proved too quick in the 25th over and she was run-out for a team-high 34. Tegan McPharlin showed skill and poise on the path to her 32 and Samantha Betts helped push the total further north in the latter overs, but the Scorpions would have felt they were several runs short at the halfway point.

For Tasmania, Sasha Moloney and Nicola Carey were the pick of the bowlers, both pocketing three wickets. Moloney tore through the middle-order, claiming batters four, five and six, before Carey cleaned up the tail to restrict the Scorpions to 174.

Schutt and Darcie Brown got South Australia off to a brilliant start with the ball, keeping it tight and refusing to give up easy runs. When the first wicket fell in the seventh over, Tasmania had accumulated just 12 runs.

McGrath then made an immediate impact, hitting Sasha Moloney’s stumps with her fifth delivery to have Tasmania reeling at 2/19. Carey and Heather Graham then came together to mount a rescue for the batting side, putting on 45 runs before a sharp piece of fielding by Jemma Barsby off her own bowling saw the partnership broken.

Naomi Stalenberg then joined Graham and in quick time, the two had pushed the total past 100 and climbed firmly into the driver’s seat of the contest. It took another piece of Schutt magic to remove Graham and suddenly the momentum was swinging the way of South Australia once more.

It was not to be for the Scorpions however, as Noami Stalenberg, in conjunction with Corinne Hall, brought Tasmania to the finish line with 25 balls to spare. Stalenberg was superb with the blade, opening her season account with a resilient 47 from 66 deliveries.

The Scorpions return to the field on Sunday, again in Canberra, to face the ACT Meteors, with first ball scheduled for 9.30am ACDT.